Our sum up of the best restaurants in Harrogate starts with Norse. A Scandinavian-influenced restaurant, found opposite Mercer Art Gallery, they take their service and their food very seriously indeed. Eight-course tasting menus are the norm, and they’ll even do a full-blown vegetarian option. Using a sharing plate tapas-style system, it’s not cheap – they recommend three plates per person, with some costing £14 – but they do well-priced lunch set menus and affordable early-bird dinners. And it’s less than half a mile from our Harrogate Town Centre hotel.
Preferring the term ‘grazing dishes’, Deano’s Graze and Grill is a British take on tapas, offering a range of smaller plates, as well as a bumper selection of grilled meats including five different steak cuts. Their early bird menu is worth checking out, or you can hand responsibility to the chef, who’ll feed you until you’re fit to burst.
Another British outlet is highly-thought of café/restaurant The Wild Plum, helmed by a Roux-trained chef, Bethany Haresign, just down the road from Hornbeam Park station and our Harrogate South hotel. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, this thoroughly modern café is bursting with ideas and flavours – their Grandma's secret Yorkshire rarebit with sweet apple chutney is a slice of cheesy heaven. And no trip is complete without their take on afternoon tea, including sandwiches, scones, mini cakes and, naturally, a pot of Yorkshire tea.
Moving down into Europe, Quantro Restaurant covers a lot of food bases. From English classics with a twist, like their tea-smoked duck breast, to Indian starters including vegetable samosas, they serve an impressive range of food all locally sourced and cooked to a high standard.
Harrogate has several notable Mediterranean restaurants in its midst, including Papa’s Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine, Mykonos Bar and Grill and the Konak Meze Turkish Restaurant. All of them go big on bold flavours, with fresh meat, fish and vegetables the order of the day, with Mykonos and Konak incorporating Greek and Turkish techniques into their cooking.
If you’re looking for some Italian flavours, L’Albero Delle Noci delivers. A cosy restaurant with dark floors and white walls, they do a mean range of pasta dishes (vegetarians should head for the goats cheese and fig ravioli) and serve affogato, the traditional Italian dessert of espresso poured over a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Rounding off our selection, and heading into another continent entirely, is Cau Steak. Taking its inspiration from Argentinian food and meat, the chain restaurant delivers the best cuts, including up to 600g of prime beef for the Chef’s Cuts. Their brunch offers the best value for money, while their Sunday roast is well worth checking out.